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  • Catalyzing Community Capacity Report released

    9/18/2019 10:09:00 AM

    Today we released Catalyzing Community Capacity: How Philadelphia Can Create Equitable Right-of-Way Stewardship, a report we've been working on since 2018 to analyze and hopefully help improve the city’s current processes for communities to get permission to create and steward parklets, pedestrian plazas and bike corrals. Through an extensive research process, we identified significant barriers for entry, particularly in underserved communities.The report draws from dozens of interviews with local community development professionals, city staff working on these issues and national leaders in public space and placemaking. Our hope is that it balances practical, local feedback with aspirational best practices from peer cities in an effort to further Philadelphia’s rich tradition of community-driven design and stewardship.

    The biggest takeaway is that we think Philadelphia can create large-scale positive impacts by strategically increasing its capacity, which we believe will catalyze capacity that is latent in communities across the city. We hope that the report helps the city make tweaks to its own resource allotment and leads to the creation of a support organization to help unlock the potential of communities through these quick, inexpensive but high impact interventions. 

    Check out the full report or, if you have less time, the executive summary. Thanks for your interest in Lindy's work!

    This project was conducted with the support of the William Penn Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, Knight Foundation, and Poor Richard’s Charitable Trust. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.



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  • Changing the Narrative

    9/11/2019 10:09:00 AM

    Two years ago this month, the Lindy Institute selected its inaugural cohort of innovation fellows, Priya MammenMike O’Bryan and Chris Spahr, who were chosen for their passion for urban problem-solving and their potential to positively impact communities in Philadelphia. In recognition of their work, we engaged documentarian Wren Rene to shadow them and share their work through a short film. Wren’s focus was to document how each fellow is helping to change the narrative in her/his community while recognizing members of that community who represent the invaluable contribution of vast networks of people in solving urban challenges. We hope you’ll watch and share!

    The fellows were selected from a large and diverse pool of applicants from across the city and received $15,000 and support from the Lindy and Drexel academic families, including participating in the Urban Innovation Summit and being mentored by the incomparable Jeremy Nowak. We are so proud of their affiliation with Lindy! Learn more about their work below:

    Chris Spahr used his fellowship to support the development of a community outreach strategy to inform his innovative proposal to fund the Centennial Parkside CDC through renewable energy generation. Working with insite collaborative and Ebony Suns Enterprises,  Chris hosted a successful community wide process, which culminated at the Our Dreams, Our Future Community Dinner, at Horticulture Hall in Fairmount Park. During his fellowship, he has also helped the Centennial Parkside CDC become a community partner in the development of Schuylkill Yards. Chris and his team continue to work with East Parkside residents to build a green economy that promotes sustainable development without displacement of the existing neighborhood population. You can follow Chris’s work here.

    Mike O’Bryan focused his fellowship on developing a strategy for a consultancy that works with organizations and employers to transform how they understand and support human development, interaction, and performance. During that time he delivered trainings and workshops for orgs that included The Philadelphia Youth NetworkArtistYear, and NeighborWorks America. His fellowship also helped him leverage a grant from the University of the Arts’ Corzo Center for the Creative Economy. He continues to serve as Director of Youth And Young Adult Initiatives at The Village of Arts and Humanities. Follow Mike here.

    Priya Mammen developed a leadership platform to share her vision of Emergency Departments as partners in urban public health, not only to address the social determinants of health in many Philadelphia communities, but to confront public health crises, such as the opioid crisis, on the front lines..  Since her fellowship began, her ideas, proposals and expertise have garnered attention from the US Department of Labor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, city agencies, such as Philadelphia Department of Health and DBHIDS, and community organizations.  She has shared her thought leadership at TEDx,in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst, among others. She leads several advisory committees in both public and private sectors, sits on the Board of Directors of Pathways to Housing, PA and was elected to the Board of Trustees of the College of Physicians. Follow Priya here.

    The Urban Innovation Fellows Program was created through the generous support of the William Penn Foundation, Wyncote Foundation and Knight Foundation. 


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  • Sustainability Symposium - Saturday, September 7

    9/3/2019 10:09:00 AM

    Lindy is partnering with Mural Arts for The Art of Sustainability 2019 this Saturday at Drexel, where we'll hear from leaders around the country about the role of arts and culture in challenging the cause and effects of climate change. We'll be tackling tough questions like:

    • What do we as a society actually want and need to sustain?
    • What must we change or relinquish in order to protect what matters most?
    • What can we reclaim, or learn anew, in order to create a world that is truly just and sustainable for all people and future generations
    • What is the role of arts and culture in helping us embrace and realize the creative potential of these unparalleled times?

    The event is curated by Helicon, and we've lined up great speakers including:

    • Alexis Frasz—How culture and creative practice can help address environmental issues and build people power.
    • Dan Borelli—How art helped Ashland, Massachusetts wake up to its unresolved toxic legacy so that it could heal, demand change, and begin to build a different future.
    • Tommy Joshua—How the North Philadelphia Peace Park is building a culture of regeneration and renewal.
    • Aviva Kapust—How the Village of Arts and Humanities uses arts and culture as a tool for transforming lives and building healthy, sustainable communities.
    • Eve Mosher—How art can help people understand the impact of climate change on their own lives, and the role of the artist in an era of climate crisis.

    We hope you'll join us - grab tickets for only $10 here.




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